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Wednesday September 28th

The Elephant in The Room: Let's talk about birth control

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By Jennie Sekanics

Women are sexually active. Surprise!

Since the Obama administration is now enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which ensures that health care insurance companies cover birth control (or at least most of it) with an affordable copay, I had assumed that a woman’s sexuality was past mere acceptance. But I have found quite the contrary.

Why the cost for birth control become more expensive? (AP Photo)

Last year, I planned to go on a low-dosage birth control, but due to the high costs of the pill ($35), I decided to wait until Obama acted upon his promise to aid a woman’s right to affordable pregnancy prevention, which he ultimately did. Presently under the ACA, if you have health insurance, your preferred method of birth control should be free. But the devil is in the details.

My gynecologist prescribed me another birth control pill just this past month and my mother and I were baffled by the price required for the pill of my gynecologist’s choosing: $70. How within the year 2014 and under Obamacare is my birth control more expensive?

Some insurance plans, like mine, are grandfathered. If a health plan existed before the implement of the new healthcare law, it may be grandfathered and grandfathered plans may exclude insured females from the benefit of free birth control and even the slight advantage of a low copay.

Of course, brand-name medication, like the one my gynecologist prescribed is more costly and thus, the option to purchase a generic brand is always available, but I was still furious at the fact that some plans can choose whether or not to cover birth control and have the ability to deny a woman her right to preventing her own pregnancy.

Perhaps my frustration truly derived from the fact that men’s sexuality is highly publicized and widely accepted through the commercialization and wide insurance coverage of Viagra, the elevated status that surrounds the term ‘player,’ and the simple expectation and latter praising of men who maintain multiple partners. Ultimately, I realized the issue lies less within the monetary sphere of insurance coverage and resides completely within the political rejection of female’s sexuality.

In the year 2014, I wonder if a sexual enhancement medication for women was discovered and proven successful, like Viagra for men, would ever be so commonly recognized and placed within public view. In the year 2014, I cannot even name a single drug designed to aid the woman who is not sexually satisfied (Is it assumed that we all are?). Under the Affordable Care Act, I am currently taking a generic birth control and still paying $20 per month for it.


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